Log In

Reset Password

No conviction for jilted husband who lashed out

Opinion Piece

The controversial actions of a Queenstown judge were one of the standouts of a busy news week that saw the Government press on with its first 100 days programme coming into Parliament’s final sitting of 2017.

Judge John Brandts-Giesen discharged a 58-year-old man without conviction for a “nasty assault” of his wife, daughter and a former friend who he found had exchanged a love text with his wife.

The judge ruled that the consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what had occurred. It was his accompanying comment that aroused controversy, however, when he said there would “be many people who have done exactly what you did on this occasion”.

In a country where police respond to a family violence callout every five and a half minutes, the comment was poorly chosen. District Court chief judge Jan Marie Doogue pointedly said she did not choose to defend the remark.

The Government announced its programme to take 88,000 children out of the poverty level — defined as families that earn less than half the median household income — and cancelled National’s tax cuts.

There was no yuletide joy for the 17 residents of the former Masonic Hotel building here who have to be out by Friday because it is a fire risk. Once a Gisborne icon from which a young Queen Elizabeth waved to crowds, the building has fallen on sad times in later years.

People wanting a glimpse of the next Rocket Lab launch from Mahia now have to wait until the new year, and there was a sad note with the sudden death of Simon Dickie, cox of the New Zealand rowing eight which won gold at the Munich Olympics in 1972.

But for most of us the focus is steadily moving towards the start of the biggest holiday period of the year, now only days away.